Editorial: Italy, No Country for Young Men (and Women)

Paraphrasing McCarthy: Italy, No Country for Young Men
Paraphrasing McCarthy: Italy, No Country for Young Men

Be optimistic. There is no alternative for the Italians if they want to continue to maintain the highest standards of living accrued after World War II. Being optimistic, despite the picture painted by Frank Bruni in his article in the New York Times last Saturday is so bleak as it is real.

Be optimistic to build a new country, open, inclusive, equitable, meritocratic and not gerontocratic. Be optimistic and roll up the sleeves. Perhaps it is true that only in the difficulties Italians know how to give the best of themselves. And that this is a difficult time there is no doubt.

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Obama Administration Boosts the Use of Bio-based Materials in Cars

Henry Ford II World Center
Henry Ford II World Center

The US Center for Automotive Research (CAR) announced Thursday that it will be the lead agency in a $1.47 million grant under the federal “Make It In America Challenge” to boost the use of bio-based materials in cars. Partners in the effort include the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, the Macomb-St. Clair Workforce Development Board and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences.

“Our project, ‘Building Capacity and Capability in the Bio-Based Materials Manufacturing Sector,’ will build and expand on this distinctive combination of assets to support job creation and attraction of domestic and foreign direct investment in the agricultural manufacturing sector, as well as greater development of a supply chain for bio-material products to support the U.S. automotive industry,” said Kim Hill, director of the Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies group and project lead at CAR.

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Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary: $181 million to Develop Advanced Biofuels

Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of 181 million US dollars to develop commercial-scale biorefineries or retrofit existing facilities with appropriate technology to develop advanced biofuels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Vilsack’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

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The Italian Forum on Bioeconomy opens today in Naples

Approximately 250 delegates from EU, Tunisia, Russia, Turkey and Canada, 40 scientific presentations, 30 scientific posters and a round table on “The role of clusters in fostering the bioeconomy”. These are the numbers of IFIB, the Italian Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, which opens today to the world in Naples at Castel dell’Ovo (Egg Castle). Continue reading

Novamont’s bio-based butanediol plant will come on stream next year

Novamont's Headquarter in Novara (Italy)
Novamont’s Headquarter in Novara (Italy)

Novamont’s bio-based butanediol (BDO) plant, established as a joint venture (Mater Biotech) with San Diego-based Genomatica, will come on stream next year. To say it was yesterday Alberto Castellanza, sales manager of the Italian company, at K 2013, the Trade Fair for Plastic materials and rubber, in Düsseldorf (Germany).

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Solvay launches bio-based polyamides for use in smart mobile devices

A new portfolio of bio-based high-performance polyamides for use in smart mobile devices such as smart phones
A new portfolio of bio-based high-performance polyamides for use in smart mobile devices such as smart phones

Solvay Specialty Polymers has announced a major extension of its Kalix high-performance polyamide (HPPA) product line, launching a new portfolio of bio-based high-performance polyamides offered for use in smart mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other smart mobile electronics. The introduction includes the Kalix HPPA 3000 series, the first bio-based amorphous polyphthalamides (PPAs), and the Kalix 2000 series, a family of bio-sourced semi-crystalline polyamide grades that provide outstanding impact performance. Solvay unveiled the new materials at K 2013 (Hall 6 Stand C61), the 19th International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber Worldwide, which runs October 16-23, in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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Genetically modified tobacco plants are viable as raw material for producing biofuels

Tobacco plants
Tobacco plants

A Spanish researcher has demonstrated, for the first time, the viability of using specific tobacco proteins (known as thioredoxins) as biotechnological tools in plants.

In her PhD thesis Ruth Sanz-Barrio, an agricultural engineer of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and researcher at the Institute of Biotechnology (mixed centre of the CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, Public University of Navarre and the Government of Navarre), has managed to increase the amount of starch produced in the tobacco leaves by 700% and fermentable sugars by 500%. “We believe that these genetically modified plants” – she explained – “could be a good alternative to food crops for producing biofuels, and could provide an outlet for the tobacco-producing areas in our country that see their future in jeopardy owing to the discontinuing of European grants for this crop.”

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From Naples the Italian bioeconomy opens to the world

Naples will be the Euro-mediterranean capital of the bioeconomy for a couple of days. The Italian Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy (IFIB) goes to the wonderful city of Southern Italy from 22 to 23 October 2013 at Castel dell’Ovo (Egg Castle), a seaside castle located on the former island of Megaride, now a peninsula, on the gulf of Naples .

With around 250 delegates in attendance from approximately twenty different countries from all around the world, the conference truly succeeds in its ambitious aim to transform from an Italian event to a Euro-mediterranean congress for the vibrant and dynamic sector of the bioeconomy.

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Mossi & Ghisolfi and Novozymes open in Northern Italy the world’s first advanced biofuels biorefinery

Crescentino Plant View
Crescentino Plant View

Beta Renewables, a global leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of the Mossi & Ghisolfi Group, and Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, today marked the official opening in Crescentino (Northern Italy) of the world’s largest advanced biofuels facility. Situated in fields in the Piedmont region, it is the first plant in the world to be designed and built to produce bioethanol from agricultural residues and energy crops at commercial scale using enzymatic conversion.

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Inaugurazione in grande stile della bioraffineria Mossi & Ghisolfi a Crescentino

Guido Ghisolfi durante l'inaugurazione

Guido Ghisolfi durante l’inaugurazione

L’America è a Crescentino. Parola di Guido Ghisolfi, intervenuto questa mattina all’inaugurazione in grande stile della bioraffineria per bioetanolo di seconda generazione Mossi & Ghisolfi, la prima al mondo di questo tipo. Presenti anche il ministro dello Sviluppo Economico Flavio Zanonato, il presidente della Regione Piemonte, Roberto Cota, e due ex ministri: Corrado Clini e Francesco Profumo.

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